David P. Southwell, president and CEO of Inotek Pharmaceuticals, spelled out the focus of his clinical-stage biopharmaceutical firm in no uncertain terms at OIS@AAO. “Inotek is focused on glaucoma,” he said. “Clearly the optimal eyedrop to treat glaucoma would be one that both lowers intraocular pressure (IOP) in a well-tolerated fashion and is also neuroprotective.”
Inotek is developing trabodenoson, an adenosine mimetic that targets the A1 receptor to restore the function of the trabecular meshwork of the eye to act as a conduit for aqueous outflow, a critical pathway in lowering IOP. “Many of the existing drugs and treatments tend to divert the outflow from the trabecular meshwork,” Southwell said.
The age of existing IOP-lowering drugs along with the commonality of multi-drop therapy to control IOP create a need for a new approach to glaucoma, he explained.
The mechanism of action of trabodenoson upregulates protease to clear proteins in the outflow pathway of the trabecular meshwork to facilitate aqueous outflow. “The trabecular meshwork represents about 70% of the outflow pathway; the uveal-scleral outflow represents the other 30%,” Southwell said.
He reported the drug was well tolerated in doses up to 3,200 micrograms in each eye in healthy patients in the Phase I trial. The Phase II trial showed that doubling the dose added another 0.7 to 0.9 mm Hg in IOP lowering. The Phase III trial will include testing of both 1,000 and 2,000 microgram doses.
Meanwhile, Inotek is involved in preclinical studies that have shown the platform can deliver drugs to the back of the eye in animal models, Southwell added.
David P. Southwell
Mr. Southwell has been President and CEO since August 2014, and led Inotek through its IPO and secondary financing.